Anyone who has walked into Bethpage Park Tennis in the last six years has probably met and certainly remembers, Ria.
She was friendly, cheerful and always helpful. She remembered everyone's name and a little bit about their life.
When she asked, "How are you?" she truly cared about the answer.
Her job title was "assistant manager," but she was a friend to so many of the people she met.
Ria Lawrence passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week at the age of 26. She will be greatly missed.
Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.